Breaking news: Federal VCPR rules

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COVID-19 Infection Map - March 23, 2020

FDA temporarily suspends enforcement of a portion of federal VCPR requirements during COVID-19 outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance this morning that temporarily suspends the enforcement of a portion of the federal veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) requirements.
The guidance change, effective immediately, applies to extralabel drug use and the issuing of veterinary feed directives (VFD). It aims to "facilitate veterinary telemedicine during the COVID-19 outbreak," according to the FDA. Individual state VCPR requirements may continue to exist, according to the guidance.

Specifically, FDA indicated that it generally intends to not enforce the animal examination and premises visit VCPR requirements relevant to FDA regulations governing extralabel drug use in animals and veterinary feed  directives (VFD). In its guidance FDA also indicated its intent to reassess its plan periodically and provide revision or withdrawal of the guidance as necessary.

“The FDA recognizes the vital role veterinarians play in protecting public health,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said in a prepared statement. “During this time, we need to provide veterinarians with the latitude to expand the use of telemedicine in the care of animals, not only pets but also the animals that produce our food.”

View the new guidance document for full details.

Telemedicine resources available

Telemedicine can help veterinary teams protect and monitor patients remotely, and the AVMA website has resources to support your use of telemedicine. Find practical tools at, including steps to implement connected care and information about technology options.

COVID-19 resources for veterinary teams

The AVMA is committed to continue providing the veterinary community the information and resources needed during this unprecedented time. Find up-to-date information on the disease and practical tools to support your team’s response at


Suspending VCPR

As a 2 time President of the Society For Veterinary Medical Ethics, I completely support this move. In 40 years, we have never been like this. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

suspending vcpr

I will still require an exam of a patient in the clinic to establish a vcpr. telemedicine is fine if you have seen the patient and are familiar with the issues the patient already has had diagnosed. Texas does not allow vcpr to be established via telemedicine and they control the rules that affect the license I work so hard to protect and keep.


Great response. I agree and what I would want a vet to say. My granddaughter is at A&M and wants to be a vet.

Professional Grooming

I am thrilled by this move. I am also extremely concerned about the free standing professional groomers who can demonstrate an ability to retrieve and return animals from curb side. Grooming Services are absolutely essential to the the health and hygiene of certain dog breeds. It is about keeping a dog looking pretty. They also protect the elderly and those with disabilities who could be injured attempting to bath their own animals. Do we want seniors in nursing homes rehabbing from fractured hips or worse? This could go on for months. Groomers are not a luxury- for many breeds and citizens they are essential.

Vital Resource

Telemedicine is a vital resource for the veterinary professionals that I work with, helping to establish proper care for the communities pets is essential during these times when people are needing their pets comfort and support. Allowing veterinary professionals to use their medicine skills for that goal is essential.


Still does not permit with out a VCPR. Frustrating to not have uniformity and confusion for pet owners and professionals.

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